PALMOILMAGAZINE, BELITUNG — The encounter between the residents of Membalong and PT Foresta Lestari at the Kembiri Village Office, along with the Attorney of Belitung, concluded without reaching an agreement, resulting in a stalemate. Frustrated by the lack of resolution, the community became incensed and opted to block access to the company.
Ricky Kuswanda, the Vice Field Coordinator, deemed the meeting futile. He saw it as evidence that the company had no intention of resolving the conflict, exacerbating the discontent among the people. Kuswanda also highlighted the injustice faced by the people of Membalong, who felt sidelined in their own territory while the influence of the company continued to expand in the region.
PT Foresta Lestari Dwikarya, was promising to provide employment, made the village go better, and welfare the people around. But the facts showed the contrary. 20 percent of the main plantations (plasma program) was not realized, there was no significant helps in education, economy, and social.
There is no decent work for the people. They only got negative impacts, such as, flying ash around the access to the company, the forests were cut off, and rivers were polluted.
When the people of Membalong started to get their rights and protest the violation that PT Foresta did, the company responded by arresting 11 activists of Membalong.
As quoted from negerilaskarpelangi.com, as their protest, the people decided to blockade the access to the company as a warn he told that three corridors have been closed, they are in koridor pabrik, koridor bukit, and koridor Simpang Rusa. Each corridor is now used to get some activities, such as, praying, people’s art performance, and public kitchen in their protest.
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About to open the access in the three corridors, he told that it would depend on what the company would do. He also took the regional and central governments not to take partisanship with the company but use their authority and power to win the people’s protest.
He also mentioned that it needs to get fair investigation about the violation that PT Foresta has done because it is assumed that the investment of the company delivered losses for the country and the people.
“If an investment eventually sacrificed the people’s life and the country, what is the use of PT Foresta? If the company can intimidate and take the resources in Belitong, it is better to revoke the permit of the company,” he said. (T2)